In Week 16, the Raiders (3-11) will likely play their final game in Oakland as they are set to host the Denver Broncos (6-8) on the last Monday Night Football game of the season. As the city of Oakland is filing a suit against the NFL over the team's move to Las Vegas, the Raiders aren’t expected to play there next season as they wait for their stadium to be built.
They are still searching for a temporary home next season with the remote chance they wind up back in Oakland. In the meantime, I expect the Raiders’ fans in Oakland to bring the noise on Christmas Eve, and Monday Night Football betting fans should be mindful of their impact.
As for the game itself, this matchup will feature the two AFC West teams that will not make a trip to the playoffs this season. Earlier this year, the two played a competitive game in Denver in Week 2. The Broncos narrowly won as kicker Brandon McManus won the game on a 36-yard field goal with six seconds left.
Neither team will be playing for much, other than pride. But NFL betting fans should expect these two bitter rivals to play a competitive game in primetime.
Monday Night Football Week 16 Best Bets
Raiders (+2.5) over Broncos
The Broncos enter Week 16 as three-point road favorites over the Raiders at 888sport. To me, that line seems off by at least three points. The Broncos have not played well as of late, losing to Cleveland and the 49ers at home.
Heading into Week 14, the Broncos were in a great position to make the playoffs as a wild-card team. But because of their last two losses, they have been officially eliminated from playoff contention.
From seemingly every source, Broncos’ head coach Vance Joseph will not return after the season as the Broncos have failed to make the playoffs for the third straight season. With a lame duck coach, it’s hard to believe this team should be favored on the road against anybody.
From the Raiders' side of things, they have played better over the last several weeks, covering in three out of their last six games and winning two out of their previous five. While they certainly aren't lighting the world on fire, they do seem to be a much more competitive team since Week 11.
With this being the final game in the Oakland Alameda Coliseum, I expect there to be some extra energy and emotion from the Raiders’ sideline. You can bet that Jon Gruden is going to throw everything at the Broncos, hoping to get a win for the Oakland fans. I’m taking the Raiders and the points (+2.5)
The over/under betting line for this AFC West matchup is set at 43.5, one of the lowest of the week at 888sport. That isn’t all that surprising as the Broncos and Raiders have both struggled to score, as of late. On the season, the Raiders are 29th in PPG (18.6), and the Broncos aren't much better at 21st (21.9 PPG).
In their last six games, the Broncos have averaged just 19.6 points per game, in part due to injuries and poor play from the quarterback. With both offenses without major pieces on the offensive line and at receiver, it’s hard to imagine this game becoming a shootout.
From the first matchup alone, Emmanuel Sanders, Demaryius Thomas, Amari Cooper, and Marshawn Lynch have all either been traded or placed on injured reserve. That is a lot of firepower missing from this matchup.
While Oakland certainly doesn't have a good defense, Denver does, and that should help keep the scoring down in this one as the Raiders have struggled to protect quarterback Derek Carr all season long.
On the other side of the ball, the Broncos’ only real weapon is running back Phillip Lindsay, who was selected to the Pro Bowl earlier this week. If the Raiders can keep him in check, they should have no problem keeping the Broncos’ struggling offense under control. I’m taking the under at 43.5 as I expect this to be a 20-17 type of game once again.